2012 Women's European Championships Wrap Up
Subscribe or renew for 3 years and receive a FREE poster
autographed by Shawn Johnson! Subscribe Today!
By Elizabeth Grimsley
After a four year hiatus, Romania is finally back on top at the European Championships.
Many counted them out of the running with the likes of Russia and strengthening Italian and British teams.
However, Russia did not have their best meet by a long-shot—with Aliya Mustafina and Victoria Komova still on the return track from injuries.
Mustafina, once the golden girl of gymnastics; winning the World All Around title in 2010, is still working her way back from a torn ACL she suffered a little over a year ago at the 2011 European Championships.
Mustafina had far from her best meet, managing just 12.966 on floor exercise in the qualifications and failing to qualify to any event finals—let alone medal.
Some have said that her comeback may have been too quick.
And coming back too quick from a major injury like Mustafina had would only make it harder for her to get back into top form for the Olympics this summer.
Komova also had to have surgery only a couple months ago to improve circulation in her leg that resulted from a previous surgery last year.
However, she fared better than her teammate in terms of results, putting up solid performances in the qualification and team finals.
During event finals, Komova took home the uneven bars gold with a 15.666, but was shaky throughout her beam routine and ended up falling on her dismount, managing only a 13.100 for sixth place.
The Romanians relied on veterans Sandra Izbasa and Catalina Ponor as well as newcomer Larissa Iordache to carry the weight of the team during the competition.
And they came through for the most part.
In the team competition, Romania showed that their weak bar sets wouldn’t be an issue as they provided three strong routines on vault, beam, and floor to make up for the deficit.
Although Iordache fell on beam in team finals, she still managed to come away with second in the unofficial all around competition—only about a tenth behind Russia’s Anastasia Grishina.
Isbaza also came away from the championships with the vault gold, and Ponor took the title on beam with Iordache taking the silver.
On floor, the beam results reversed with Iordache taking first and Ponor finishing a close second.
Italy was the dark horse of the competition, taking home the bronze and beating out Great Britain by a comfortable margin of over three points.
A lot of people didn’t expect them to do as well as they did, but with veterans Vanessa Ferrari and Carlotta Ferlito and newcomer Erika Fasana on the team, the Italians managed to outscore the British.
Fasana also came away with the third highest all around score of the competition, sitting behind Grishina and Iordache.
Without the help of Beth Tweddle, the British were forced to send a relatively young team to Brussels, which was good for the newcomers’ experience but not so much for their chances for a medal.
Great Britain was considered a threat not only for a spot on the podium but for the title as well, but they faulted when it counted most.
They started out rough on uneven bars, and the troubles continued on balance beam where they suffered falls from both Hannah Whelan and Jenni Pinches on balance beam, which ended up costing the team the medal.
At the end of the day, not many expected Romania to finish as well as they did.
With about two and a half months remaining until the start of The Games—but Romania has showed that they are a team that shouldn’t be counted out.
Russia showed that they still have a lot of work to do in preparation for London, but they shouldn’t be counted out with as this competition will serve as a wakeup call as well as a motivator to prepare for the Olympics.
A lot can happen in the 73 remaining days until London.
Only time will tell.